Monday 17 June 2019

Children's hospital apologises to tragic couple for incorrect genetic report

Our Lady’s hospital in Dublin
Our Lady’s hospital in Dublin

Tim Healy

Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, has apologised in the High Court to a couple for shortcomings in care provided to them, including the issuing of an incorrect genetic report.

The couple sued the hospital and HSE for nervous shock in proceedings centred on genetic screening and chromosomal abnormalities involving two of their children.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the cases could be struck out as a confidential settlement had been reached.

Dr John O'Mahony SC, for the couple, read a letter of apology from the hospital's chief executive, Seán Walsh.

"I wish to again reiterate the apology contained in the review report of August 4, 2017, to you both and to your family for the events that occurred in August 2010 when an incorrect genetic report was issued to you and for the distress caused. The hospital unreservedly extends its sincerest apology for the shortcomings in the care provided."

The woman had been a patient of the National Centre for Medical Genetics at the hospital.

She gave birth in 2010 to a baby girl who survived for 18 months with multiple congenital abnormalities.

The woman later gave birth to two sons with no chromosomal abnormalities but another girl died one hour after her birth in 2014.

It was claimed that it only transpired after the birth and death of the second girl and subsequent testing that there was a chromosomal situation which predisposed the couple to a re-occurrence of the abnormality. The court heard that the couple had not been made aware of the heightened risk of a re-occurrence.

It was further claimed there was failure to carry out the appropriate chromosomal investigations of the couple in 2010 around the time of the birth of their first daughter.

It was claimed a correct investigation procedure at this juncture would have identified the level of risk of congenital abnormalities for future pregnancies and that a heightened risk should have been communicated to the couple.

They further alleged there was a failure to exercise reasonable care in or about the carrying out of appropriate investigations in relation to the chromosomal abnormalities that arose in relation to the birth of their two daughters.

The couple claimed they had suffered severe mental distress and there was a failure to advise of the heightened risk of chromosomal abnormalities after their first daughter died.

A breach of duty was admitted in relation to the conduct of genetic screening on the couple in 2010 but all other claims were denied.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News